S2S Leg 3: Tilbury to Beckton

3 Tilbury Beckton IMG_2751There is a reason that the official Thames Path only goes as far east as the Thames Barrier, and the reason is this: Dagenham. Oh, and Tilbury. No offence to the good people of this part of Essex but there is so little of the Thames that is accessible in this area that a river walk becomes a walk along busy A-roads. But that’s my choice and in future legs there will be less roadside, more riverside and countryside. There will also be more cafes, ice cream vans and pubs. I’m sure it’s coincidental, but as soon as the latter was mentioned Russ became interested in joining me on the next leg. Continue reading S2S Leg 3: Tilbury to Beckton

S2S Leg 2: Pitsea to Tilbury

The peasants are revolting…

2 mapIMG_2702A country park seems an odd way to honour the leader of the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. Or perhaps a recreational and educational facility to be enjoyed by anyone and everyone free of charge is emblematic of how far we have come since the dark medieval days of serfdom. But the Wat Tyler Country Park is not just about the revolt, but about many areas of history and nature. On another occasion I’m sure I could spend an interesting few hours here. There are historic buildings, sculptures and nature trails. They even have “Educational Toilets”. Unfortunately they were out of order so I didn’t learn anything there.

Continue reading S2S Leg 2: Pitsea to Tilbury

S2S Leg 1: Southend to Pitsea

Southend to Pitsea. Well, Benfleet as it Turned Out…

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IMG_2617A lone fisherman and I were the only passengers on the first train of the day to clatter its way up Southend Pier. On the way I read a poster about “the longest pier in the world” (1.3 miles) and began to doubt the wisdom of starting my walk at the wet end. But it is a good marker and it did feel like I was standing where river and sea meet. At 9am I tightened my bootlaces and headed back towards dry land. When I had left home three hours earlier it had been cold, frosty even, but as I walked west along the seafront the sun was out and the temperature was fighting its way upwards. The promenade was becoming busy with walkers, dog-walkers, joggers and cyclists.
Continue reading S2S Leg 1: Southend to Pitsea